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Alien Flight Training

 

TSA  Flight Training Requirements:


Definitions:

Alien. Any person not a citizen or national of the United States. This also refers to resident aliens (green-card holders) and visa holders in the United States.

Aircraft Simulator. A flight simulator or flight training device as defined by 14 CFR 61.1.

Candidate. An alien or other individual designated by TSA who applies for flight training. It does not include an individual endorsed by the Department of Defense for flight training.

Flight School. Any pilot, flight training center, air carrier flight training facility, or flight instructor certificated under 14 CFR Part 61, 121, 135, 141, or 142; or any other person or entity that provides instruction under 49 U.S.C. Subtitle VII, Part A, in the operation of any aircraft or aircraft flight simulator. This also includes any individual or entity located outside the United States that provides such instruction. For example, a flight school located in Canada that provides instruction in the operation of an aircraft or aircraft simulator that would enable an individual to receive a U.S. airman certificate is subject to this rule.

Flight Training. The TSA rule initially defined "flight training" as instruction received from a flight school in an aircraft or aircraft simulator that a candidate could use toward a new airman certificate or type rating. On January 5, 2005, TSA clarified the definition to include only three types of training that substantially enhance piloting skills. The first is training that a candidate could use toward a recreational, sport, or private pilot certificate because such training provides a candidate with basic piloting skills. The second is training that a candidate could use toward a multiengine rating because such training provides a pilot access to larger, faster aircraft. The third is training that a candidate could use toward an instrument rating because such training enhances a pilot's abilities to pilot an aircraft in bad weather and enables a pilot to better understand the instruments and physiological experiences of flying without reference to visual cues outside the aircraft. Recurrent training, such as flight reviews and instrument proficiency checks, are exempt from the rule, as well as flight training listed under 14 CFR 61.31.

 


U.S. Citizens

  1. The requirements for determining citizenship status for any student, whether U.S. or alien, applies only to flight training toward a recreational pilot, sport pilot, or private pilot certificate; instrument rating; or multiengine rating.
  2. Proof of Citizenship. Evidence of U.S. citizenship must be shown by one of the following:
        • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport.
        • Original birth certificate of the United States, American Samoa, or Swains Island, and government-issued picture ID.
        • Original certification of birth abroad with raised seal (Form FS-545 or DS-1350) and government-issued picture ID.
        • Original certificate of U.S. citizenship with raised seal (Form N-560 or N-561), or a Certificate of Repatriation (Form N-581), and government-issued picture ID.
        • Original U.S. Naturalization Certificate with raised seal (Form N-550 or N-570) and a government issued picture ID.
  1. Logbook or Record-keeping Requirements. An instructor must keep a copy of the documents for five years that are used to prove citizenship or make an endorsement in both the instructor's logbook, or other record used by the instructor to record flight student endorsements, and the student's logbook with the following:

    "I certify that [insert student's name] has presented me a [insert type of document presented, such as a U.S. birth certificate or U.S. passport, and the relevant control or sequential number on the document, if any] establishing that [he or she] is a U.S. citizen or national in accordance with 49 CFR 1552.3(h). [Insert date and instructor's signature and CFI number.]"
 
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Aliens

The following procedures apply to aliens who are receiving flight training inside or outside the United States for an U.S. airman certificate.

Visa notice: Taking flight training without an appropriate visa could be a violation of your immigration status and could result in your arrest and removal from the United States; therefore, it is important that you have a visa that permits you to take flight training in the United States. If you do not possess the correct visa, or if you have questions pertaining to your visa status or the appropriate visas for flight training, please contact your local Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services at 800/375-5283 or www.uscis.gov or the State Department Consular Affairs Office for assistance. The AFSP will deny flight training requests from candidates who are present in the United States illegally or who do not have an appropriate visa for flight training.
Fees paid for denied applications are not refundable.


Procedures for obtaining TSA Flight Training Authorization:

  1. Candidate Notifies Flight School. The flight training candidate should provide advanced notice to the flight school that he or she intends to start flight training and pays any associated school application fees.
  2. Candidate Creates Login. The candidate is required to create a login account at https://www.flightschoolcandidates.gov. A user ID is provided immediately after submitting the required information, and a password is sent via e-mail.
    (Time may vary on receiving the password — possibly 24 to 48 hours.)
  3. Candidate Applies for Training. After receiving his or her password, the candidate will be instructed to change it. The candidate then logs into the TSA student registration page at https://www.flightschoolcandidates.gov and continues the application process.
  4. School Validation. Upon request from TSA, Mid Island Flight School will validate the student’s training request.  Note: There will be a $100 processing fee payable to Mid Island Flight School by credit card prior to TSA validation.  Upon enrollment in our flight school, $50 will be applied to enrollment fee.

    The candidate will be required to submit the following information:
    1. Background Information. Full name, gender, current address and five-year address history, date and country of birth, and citizenship information.
    2. Passport and Visa Information. Foreign applicants are required to have a passport. A candidate may either scan his or her complete passport and submit it to TSA electronically, or copy his or her complete passport and fax it to TSA using the fax number provided on the AFSP Web site.
    3. Training Details. Basic information including the name of the school, course name, course description and ID number, type of aircraft, pilot certificate or rating sought, and the start and end dates for the flight training. It will be  helpful if the candidate brings his or visa and passport and registers at the flight school. This will allow the flight school to upload the required documents to TSA and also to make copies for the flight school's record-keeping requirements. Upon completion of the application, the candidate will be prompted to click on the "validate and submit" icon. If any errors appear in the application, the candidate will be instructed to make any necessary corrections or complete any missing information. After making any changes, the candidate clicks on "submit application." Furthermore, after submitting the application, and for the application to proceed further, the candidate must select "I agree" or "I disagree" after reviewing important information regarding his or her application. The candidate training request status is available on the AFSP candidate home page at https://www.flightschoolcandidates.gov. Each training request the candidate has entered into the system is listed in the Current Flight Training Applications section of the AFSP home page after login.
    4. Fingerprints. A list of domestic and international fingerprinting locations is available at https://secure.natacs.aero/afsp/find_location.asp
      Note: Any candidate who has previously submitted fingerprints and received confirmation of fingerprint receipt for a prior AFSP training request is not required to resubmit fingerprints. If possible, TSA will use the fingerprints on file for that candidate.

      Note: Aliens are exempt from resubmitting fingerprints for taking additional flight training.  Fingerprints will continue to be transferred to new flight training requests but only if the alien uses the same account (pin) number that was used for the initial flight training request.
    5. Application Processing Fee. The fee must be paid by credit card on the TSA's Web site. (Candidates now have a maximum of 10 attempts at paying the processing fee. After the tenth failure, the training request is canceled by TSA's system, and the candidate must submit a new training request. Please verify that your credit card is valid before attempting to pay the processing fee).
    6. Photo. The student should have his or her photo taken by the flight school when he or she arrives at the flight school for the first day of flight training. The flight school will be required to upload this same photo, not one copied from the candidate's passport or other identification, to TSA's Web site.

      The following are descriptions of each status type:
      • Draft — Candidate has started to enter request, but it has not yet been submitted. Next step: Candidate (or provider for Category 4) selects the "Validate and Submit Application" icon and corrects errors prior to submitting the request.
      • Submitted — The request has been fully submitted. Next step (Category 1-3): Provider logs into Web site to validate or deny
        the request.
      • Provider Accepted — Provider accepted the candidate's request. Next step: Candidate pays the $130 AFSP fee online. Once the fee has been received by TSA, an authorized agent fingerprints the candidate.
      • Provider Rejected — Provider rejected the candidate's request.
        Next step: Candidate contacts the provider to inquire about denial
        of request.
      • Preliminary Approval Granted — Preliminary approval has been granted to the candidate.
      • Fingerprints Received — TSA has received the candidate's fingerprints. Next step: Category 1 candidates — up to 30 calendar days to receive approval; Category 2 candidates — up to five business days to receive approval; Category 3 and 4 candidates will not receive this status.
      • Final Approval Granted — Candidate has been granted final approval for the training request. Next step: Training must commence within 180 days of final approval.
      • Final Approval Rejected — Candidate has been denied training.
      • Insufficient Information — Candidate has submitted a training request with incomplete or inaccurate information. Candidates should then carefully follow the e-mail instructions given to edit and resubmit the training request.
      • Illegible Passport/Security Document Received — Candidate's passport or airman certificate has either not been received by the AFSP or the copy sent was unreadable. Candidate should resend the documents via e-mail to AFSP.help@dhs.gov or fax them to
        571/227-4532 or 571/227-4534. Be sure to include the training request ID number with the resubmission to ensure proper filing.
      • For Category 2 Candidates: If an "Illegible/Unreceived Security Document" e-mail is received, please follow the instructions in the e-mail carefully. This may indicate that the candidate either sent in an illegible security document, the document has not been received, or that the candidate may not be eligible for Category 2 and should follow the e-mail instructions given.

        Further questions about the status of your flight training request should be directed to TSA by e-mail to AFSP.Help@dhs.gov or by calling 571/227-4544.
  5. Flight School Acknowledges Training Request. The flight school will be sent an e-mail from TSA requesting confirmation of the candidate's training request after the candidate's request has been submitted.  Note: There will be a $100 processing fee payable to Mid Island Flight School by credit card prior to TSA validation.  Upon enrollment in our flight school, $50 will be applied to enrollment fee.
  6. Candidate Instructed to Pay Fee. Once the flight school confirms the candidate's request, the candidate will be e-mailed instructions to pay the $130 processing fee (credit card only). Candidates now have a maximum of 10 attempts at paying the processing fee. After the tenth failure, the training request is canceled by TSA's system, and the candidate must submit a new training request. Please verify that your credit card is valid before attempting to pay the processing fee.
  7. Flight School and Candidate Receive Preliminary TSA Decision. Upon receiving the payment, TSA e-mails both the candidate and the flight school an e-mail with the subject "Preliminary Approval." THIS DOES NOT GRANT YOU PERMISSION TO RECEIVE TRAINING. This e-mail confirms the application and fee have been received by TSA, but they still need to receive the candidate's fingerprints. If the preliminary decision is not received within seven business days, contact the TSA Help Desk at 571/227-4544.
  8. Candidate Instructed to Submit Fingerprints. If the preliminary decision is favorable, candidates will receive an e-mail from AFSP with a subject "Fingerprint Instructions" when a successful payment has been verified. Although you may receive a notification from Pay.Gov for a successful payment, your training request will not be processed by AFSP until the payment is verified by TSA and you have been sent the "Fingerprint Instructions" e-mail. If the decision is not favorable, the candidate will be provided details regarding any information that may be missing from their registration.

    Note: Aliens are exempt from resubmitting fingerprints for taking additional flight training. Fingerprints will continue to be transferred to new flight training requests but only if the alien uses the same account (pin) number that was used for the initial flight training request.

    Notice: Effective April 17, 2006, if a candidate submits/submitted fingerprints prior to paying for his/her training request and receiving the official Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP) fingerprinting instructions, the fingerprints are invalid, and the associated training request(s) will be canceled. The fingerprints will NOT be applied to any current or future training request. Both the candidate and the provider will receive an e-mail notifying them that the fingerprints are invalid, the training request(s) is/are canceled, and what steps need to be taken to resolve the problem to complete processing through the AFSP.
  9. Flight School and Candidate Receive TSA Confirmation. Prior to beginning any flight training, both the candidate and the flight training provider will receive an e-mail with the subject "Permission to Initiate Training/Fingerprint Receipt" when all of the required information has been received and verified by TSA. This e-mail needs to be received by the candidate before training is started.
  10. Flight School Takes Photo. The flight school takes a photo of the candidate when he or she arrives for the first day of flight training if not previously taken. The flight school will be required to upload this same photo, not one copied from the candidate's passport or other identification, to TSA's Web site.
  11. Final Determination Is Made by TSA. TSA will make a final determination as to the candidate's eligibility to receive flight training (training may have already started) and will notify the flight school and candidate of its decision.

 

The complete TSA ruling can be read at www.aopa.org/tsa_rule

 

Back to the Top Rev. 01/25/2017